What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. According to Cambridge Dictionary; is a condition in which someone, specially a child, is often in a state of activity or excitement and unable to direct their attention towards what they are doing.
As you can see in this definition is a condition. Now this doesn’t mean that is a bad thing, see for people without this condition, is very easy to think that the condition make a person abnormal but the truth is that every student in a class has a different condition, cognitive skills, state of mind, etc. Therefore whenever you see a statement as if this was a negative thing, don’t freak out, is just research and opinions from the other side of the road. Although, being attention an important factor in a lesson, is imperative to learn how to proceed with this.
Pros and Cons
You need to know that people with ADHD are fun to be around and very funny due their lack of long attachment to anything, they are easily forgivers and they like provide a positive atmosphere to the class or life in general. In general they are very generous and have lots of friends; they enjoy sports specially combat or adventurous, therefore they are very social and usually are very family inclined.
In the other hand, they are easily bored and this can be frustrating for a teacher who needs students be engage in an activity for more than thirty minutes (here you have a challenge). Keep in mind that they don’t mean to be disrespectful so you need to be the forgiver adult at all times. The self-steam of students with this condition is usually affected by their own lack of perseverance and patience; they want everything to be done quickly because they look forward the next thing. There will be times where they will be extremely exhausted because their body can’t keep up with their brains and they will have long periods of laziness or depression due the drastic mood change. They usually see their peers advance faster than then in the long run and this can cause a big demotivation. It’s your job to constantly remind them that step by step they will succeed.
Recognize and identify
How can you recognize if a student has this condition if he or she hasn’t been diagnosed?
Well, this is very tricky because at first you will think that the student is just being lazy and probably you will feel offended by them when they fall sleep in your class or they will show up late.
Is very important that the first month of school you keep notebook with one page per student and write down their pattern behaviors; if a student always show up late for class, you have already a pattern.
As I said before, it could be very tricky because some students are just really tired due lack of sleep because they spent their night chatting with friends or internet streaming. Learn more about the student and see if they are genuinely interested in school.
Type of learning Styles
- Logical: They need to explore and think (get lost in thinking) about science, material, Space. They like applying what they learn; otherwise it feels useless for them. Teachers of Math, Chemistry and Physics are the lucky ones since they show much enthusiasm for their subjects. As an English teacher; I used to give them some puzzles and crosswords so they don’t lose motivation.
- Kinesthetic: Their body needs lots of exercise to burn that much energy and they like sportive activities. This a big challenge for teachers, especially when the class is Literature or History; although a play role activity can do.
- Musical: They need music for different things; either to let go some frustration through lyrics or just to match their heartbeat with something. They are Music lovers. So, if you could integrate music into the lessons, do so.
- Spatial: Due their high interest in exploring, they also like building and creative tangible structures.